RPG Encyclopedia: D
- 1st ed by Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan (2002) Wizards of the Coast
A generic modern-day fantasy RPG. There is no canonical setting, but
three brief sample settings are included in the core rulebook: "Shadow
Chasers" (secret monster-hunters), "Agents of PSI" (secret agents
with psychic powers), and "Urban Arcana" (D&D advanced to a
modern age). The rules are a standalone system based on the
D20 System used by 3rd edition
The classes are redone, with a generic set of six classes for beginning
characters: Strong Hero, Fast Hero, Tough Hero, Smart Hero, Dedicated
Hero, and Charismatic Hero. Also, there are abstract wealth rules,
additional rules for firearms, and altered nonlethal damage.
There is an expansion supplement called "D20 Future" which
covers science fiction settings.
d4-d4 roleplaying game system
- 1st ed by Kyle Schuant (2004) Better Mousetrap Games
A generic role-playing system, described as best for modern or future
campaigns, of relatively short duration. (Longer campaigns may result
in the characters becoming too proficient.) Action resolution is a
die roll of two four-sided dice, the one subtracted from the other
and added to a Trait, and compared to a Difficulty level. Traits
are rated with a 11-step descriptive scale such as "Djim is an
Outstanding Cook," or "Jane is a Middling Swimmer". This is similar to
the 7-step scale in Fudge.
Character creation is point-based, speding 20 levels (or variable
depending on power level) on your character's traits. You may take up
to 5 levels of "Bad Stuff" (standard disadvantages), gaining you that
many extra levels to spend on other abilities.
The D6 System
- 1st ed by George Strayton (1996) West End Games
A universal RPG system based on the system used in WEG's
Ghostbusters and further
developed in WEG's Star Wars.
The universal D6 system book was published much later as an alternative
to WEG's less popular MasterBook
universal system. The universal system adds advantages and disadvantages
to the point-based character creation.
- 1st ed by Michael Lirko (2005) Better Mousetrap Games
A post-apocalyptic science fantasy game, set in a future where demonic
forces invaded Earth but were beaten back with the help of strange new
races. Now the Earth is under seige, with guarded "techno-communities"
while most learn melee weapons, magic, or psionics. It includes a
system with 7 character races, 16 different career paths, magic and
psionics, and a collection of demons and monsters.
- 1st ed (unknown) unknown
A Japanese-language historical RPG, set in the Edo period. It is
based on various TV samurai dramas. This is a fairly stable
period, so adventures are about fighting crime and solving
mysteries rather than war. It uses a dice-pool system: roll
(skill) d20's where each die over the difficulty is 1 success.
Character creation is point-bought attributes and choice of two
packages: surface profession (omote) and real profession (ura).
- 1st ed by James F. Dunnigan (1980) SPI
A card-game / RPG based on the TV soap opera. The boxed set includes
cut-apart cards for major characters from the series, along with a
16-page rulebook, 16-page book of characters, and a 16-page
"Scriptwriter's Guide". Character attributes include power,
persuasion, coercion, seduction, investigation, and luck.
The Dance and the Dawn
- 1st ed by Dev Purkayastha (2009) FGJ Games
A fairy tale romance game for 3-5 players, with its own setting
centered on the imagery of chess. The player characters are all Ladies
at the Ice Queen's court in search of their One True Love among
several Lords, and each Lady is represented by a chess piece with
associated traits. The Narrator controls the Queen, Duke, and Lords.
Play is divided into three dances, with duels as potential interludes
between the dances. During each dance, the Ladies move with their
partner around the board and exchange questions to gain the Lord's
favor and understand their past. At the end of the game (in 1-2 hours
real time), each Lady must pick a Lord and find if it is their
One True Love.
Dance of the Damned: A storytelling game of Decadence and Despair
- 1st ed by Andrew Peregrine (2010) Corone Design
A GMless storytelling game based on "The Masque of the Red Death"
by Edgar Allan Poe, designed to play in a session of around one hour.
It uses standard deck of playing cards, and each player tries to
force cards from their hand onto the other players. The characters
are trapped together in a castle, engaging in wine and vice to mask
the fear and paranoia they are feeling. The suits of the cards guides
how scenes play out, and these scenes build the story of the castle.
There is no official winner of the game, but victory could be implied
if one of the players manages to steer the events to a fate they wanted.
- 1st ed by L. Douglas Garrett, George MacDonald, Steve Peterson (1985) Hero Games
A modern espionage/action RPG, using the 3rd edition
Champions system. This is the
retitled 2nd edition of Espionage.
It does not include any of the powers rules, and instead has information
covering a host of modern action genres: from crimefighting to
post-apocalypse and alien invaders. It introduced vehicle chase
combat rules and specific martial arts rules, later adopted into
4th edition Champions.
- 1st ed by Gary Gygax, Dave Newton (1992) GDW
A three-volume fantasy-genre RPG ("Mythus", "Mythus Magick",
"Epic of AErth"). It uses a skill-based system. Character
creation has random-roll attributes, and skills determined either
by picking a "vocation", or by creating your own vocation. There
are 18 attributes: 3 categories (Physical/ Mental/ Spiritual),
each with 2 subcategories (Muscular+Neural/ Mnemonic+Reasoning/
Metaphysical+Psychic). Each subcategory has attributes for
capacity, power, and speed: each determined by 2d6+8.
There were three additional books published over the next year:
"Necropolis", "Mythus Bestiary", and "Mythus Prime", plus
two magazines (Journeys and Mythic Masters Magazine). After that
the game disappeared over legal dispute with TSR (cf. the
GDW entry for details). cf. the
Danger Quest: Pulp Adventures in the 24th Century
- 1st ed by Dave Matalon, Andy Mello (2002) Torchlight Games
A pulp science-fiction RPG, set in the 2330's where a long-standing
anti-technology trend has resulted in old-style appearing gadgets
such as flying cars. The game centers on Newmerica, which is threatened
by a Nazi-like empire in Europe and others.
- 1st ed by Bob Charrette, Paul Hume (1982) FGU
A pulp-era action and mystery game. It uses a variant of the
Aftermath system, with
simplified combat and the complex elements made optional. Character
creation is skill-based and point-bought. It includes a detailed
skill list, source material on the 30's, and a section on special
powers (a la "The Shadow").
- 1st ed by Lester W. Smith (1991) GDW
- 2nd ed (1998) Dynasty
A near-future horror role-playing game, in a future where
environmental devastation, urban sprawl, and corporate greed are
worsened by little-known supernatural alien horrors that have
taken over swaths of land known as "demonground". The system is
a skill-based (a variant of the GDW house system), using d10
(1st edition) or d20 (2nd edition).
Dark Continent: Adventure & Exploration in Darkest Africa
- 1st ed by David Salisbury, Mandy Smith (2001) New Breed Games
A historical roleplaying game of Victorian era adventure within
Africa, inspired by the work of Burton and Livingstone.
The boxed set included two paperback books: the 112-page Player's
Guide and the 144-page GM's Guide. There are also two A5 booklets
(5.75 x 8.25"): a Victorian traveller's guide to exotic Zanzibar
(A Gazeteer of Zanzibar) and a catalog of the fictional Topan
Trading Company (Catalog of Goods). The set also included two
A3 (11 x 17") player maps of Maasailand and of Abyssinia.
It uses a simple skill-based system, with action resolution by
rolling under character's skill on 1d10. There are details on
long-term movement, outfitting, mass combat, and morale. An
expedition has stats derived from its collective membership which
are used to resolve large-scale tasks.
The Dark Fantasy of Sundrah
- 1st ed by T. Glenn Bane (2007) Scaldcrow Games
A fantasy RPG set in an original world, Sundrah, ruled by evil gods
resisted by human rebels -- along with other races including
angels, dwarves, goblins, gremlins, hobgoblins and trolls.
Player characters may also include a sorcerous hybrid of human
and any animal, designed by the player. Character creation involves
choice from 23 professions including hoplite and galloglaich.
Dark Nova Roleplaying Game
- 1st ed by Breandán Ó Ciarraí, Orren Fansler, Martin Fox (2012) Dark Nova Games
A science fiction RPG set in the early 24th century, centered on a loose
collection of nation-states called the Terran Alliance of Nations -
populated by humans along with dozens of aliens who have discovered FTL
(including 9 suitable as player characters). Threats include pirates,
organized crime, hostile aliens, as well as internecine warfare.
Character creation includes 9 attributes under the three broad groups
of Physical, Mental, and Social. There are five broad categories of
profession (academic, socialite, combat arms, adventurer, tech), with
6 classes in each. Action resolution includes skill checks based on
rolling 3d10 under skill as well as combat based on rolling over a
target number (based on class) on 1d20. Advancement is by level.
- Ashcan ed by Jared Sorensen, Jason Roberts (2008) Memento Mori Theatricks
A game inspired by horror and crime comics - with amoral anti-heroes and
stories of sex, violence, pain, tragedy, betrayal, and rare redemption.
Character creation includes choosing one of nine Concepts: Vigilante,
Vampire, Outsider, Ghost, Freak, Elemental, Construct, Beast, or Adept.
- 1st ed by Ryan S. Johnson, John L. Ross (1997) Guild of Blades
- 2nd ed (2004) Guild of Blades
A generic fantasy RPG system. The first edition was printed as a
96-page digest-sized book. It uses a universal results table,
crossing skill minus (difficulty or opposing skill) with a 1d12
roll for a degree of success. Character creation is class-based,
with ten classes including archer, woodsman, and knight, as well
as warrior, wizard, and rogue. Advancement is level-based, with
randomized skill points for each skill slot gained.
- 1st ed by Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman (1988) Bantam/Spectra
A fantasy RPG set in the world of Weis' and Hickman's
Darksword novels, sold in trade paperback format
following the novels. It uses a simple system ("Phantasia") with only
five stats: Combat, Prowess, Information, Shape, and Life.
It uses "paper-rock-scissor" to resolve conflicts.
DarkTown: The Apocolyptic Cycle
- 1st ed by Roger McReynolds, Ben Reading (1998) Propaganda Publishing
Gold Rush Games
A science-fantasy RPG set in a future on the verge of cataclysm,
as science begins to falter and rumors of mystical and mythical
occurences come about. The "apocalyptic cycle" are Science,
Religion, and Magic which are in conflict.
- 1st ed by Colin Murcray, Matt Yarrow (1993) Black Dragon Press
A "dark" fantasy role-playing game, set on an original world.
Character creation is class-based, including race-specific
classes, guild-associated classes, and generic classes.
It includes a magic system of designing spells from various
defind components. A 2nd edition is planned under the title
"Myth & Legend".
- 1st ed by Donald C. Moehlenkamp, Kurt Moehlenkamp, James August Mohow (1986) Sorcerers Guild
- Book Two ed (1994)
- Book Two ed (1986)
A fantasy genre mini-RPG, with an original world background along
with monsters such as dragon-equivalents called "drakens" and
"sabercats". The system is based solely upon D6 dice.
- 1st ed by Steve Garnett (2001) Tower Games
A fantasy role-playing game set near Sherwood Forest of the
Robin Hood legends. The system uses roll under attribute +
skill on 1d20. Character creation is limited point-based.
Das Schwarze Auge
- 1st ed by Ulrich Kiesow (1984) Schmidt Spiel & Knaur Verlag
- 2nd ed (1988)
- 3rd ed by Ulrich Kiesow, Ina Kramer, Michelle Melchers, Thomas Römer (1992)
- 4th ed (2001) FanPro
- 4th (English) ed (2004) FanPro
Fast Forward Entertainment
A popular German-language heroic fantasy RPG, set in a traditional
fantasy world called Aventurien -- i.e. elves and dwarves, with
cultures mostly based on medieval Europe. The rule system
is complex although with few tables, using mostly d20 although
with d6's for damage. Character creation is class and
level-based, with random rolls in creation and development.
There are seven good attributes and seven bad attributes for each
character. It includes a magic system with a skill for each spell.
In the 4th edition, the random elements were replaced with a
point-buy system, and classes were replaced by race, culture,
and profession. The history of Aventurien grows with the
"Aventurische Bote", the official magazine, and with every
adventure that is published.
Dawg: the RPG
- 1st ed by Ashok Desai (2009) Kenzer & Company
A humorous mini-RPG about playing dogs. It uses simple roll-over
percentile system for most resolution. Characters are defined by
six attributes: Brawn, Hustle, Dodge, Alertness, Human Handling,
and Animal Magnetism. Character creation involves choosing your
breed of your dog and lifestyle - with strays having greater street
skills, but being less healthy than pets. Characters also have
various special abilities ("Tricks"). This was originally published
in the comic book Knights of the Dinner Table #150, and later released
electronically on its own.
- 1st ed by Jason Marin (2000) Committed Comics
A fantasy genre RPG set on an original world. Each PC uses
magic from a type of "Flow" -- magical energy that radiates from
the three suns above Dawnfire. The three flow types are Warrior,
Shaper, and Rogue. Races include humans, Garin (fox-creatures),
Dracos (half-dragons), winged Aerials, Trolls, Makir, and
Minotaurs. It uses a skill-based system with 10 attributes.
Action resolution is by rolling under stat on 1d20, where 20 is a
critical failure and 1 is a critical success.
- 1st ed by Mike Carr et al. (1982) TSR
A WWI air combat game and RPG, a version of the boardgame
Fight in the Skies with expanded rules giving more
emphasis on the pilots as characters. cf. the
- 1st ed by Greg Gorden, Sam Lewis (1985) Mayfair
- 2nd ed by Ray Winninger, Thomas Cook, Dan Greenberg (1989)
- 3rd ed by Bryan Nystul (1993)
A superhero RPG set in the DC comics universe. This uses a
unique system (later dubbed "MEGS" for "Mayfair Exponential
Gaming System") intended to handle attributes ranging from Robin
(2) to Superman (50) on the same scale. Resolution is by
rolling stat+2d10 versus 2d10 + difficulty modifier. cf. Josh's
DC Heroes FAQ.
DC Universe Roleplaying Game
- 1st ed by Fred Jandt, Nikola Vrtis (1999) West End Games
Another superhero RPG set in the DC comics universe. It uses a
variant of the "D6 Prime" system (from
Hercules & Xena. It is a dice pool system rolling d6's
where 3-6 is a success (special dice are provided with red and blue
faces for this) plus a special "wild die". Character creation is
- 1st ed by J.T. Smith, Chris Hagness, Michael Helfman (1999) Anarchy inK
A post-nuclear-apocalypse survival RPG, published electronically.
It uses a d6 dice-pool system with random-roll character creation
including a vast selection of hundreds of mutations.
Dead Inside: The Roleplaying Game of Loss & Redemption
- 1st ed by Chad Underkoffler (2004) Atomic Sock Monkey Press
A horror RPG set in the modern world alongside a fantasy setting,
the Spirit World. The PCs by default are "Dead Inside" humans who
have lost part of their souls, though there are also options to play
Ghosts, Magi, Sensitives, or Zombies. They collect soul points for
spiritual cultivation, for acting good in various ways, following
Virtues and overcoming Vices. It uses a simple system called
Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) system. Character creation is
by choosing a type, 2 to 4 keywords which give bonuses, and a weakness.
Action resolution is by 2d6 + bonus vs difficulty.
Deadlands: The Weird West
- 1st ed by Shane Lacy Hensley (1996) Pinnacle
A western fantasy-horror game, set in an alternate history where
magic and monsters begin appearing around the time of the Civil
War. The system is a skill-based dice-pool system, where
attribute determines die type (d4,d6,d8,d10,d12,d20) and skill
determines number of dice.
Deadlands: Hell on Earth
- 1st ed by Shane Hensley (1998) Pinnacle
A post-apocalyptic fantasy-horror RPG, set in the year 2094 in a
possible future of the Deadlands
universe. In 2081, the Reckoners (masters of the evil manitou spirits)
break through into the world. It uses a variant of the
Deadlands system. New character
types are psionic "Sykers", mutant "Doomsayers", magic warrior
"Templars", and mad-scientist "Junkers".
Deadlands: Lost Colony
- 1st ed by John R. Hopler (2002) Pinnacle
A sci-fi/fantasy/horror RPG, set in a distant star system in a
possible future of the Deadlands
universe. Thirteen years ago, the colony, known as "Faraway", was cut
off from Earth by the Last War. Now three million humans are trapped
on this world alongside ten times that many angry aliens.
It uses a variant of the
Dead Night of Space: Psibertroopers
- 1st ed by Ron Fricke, Scott Palter (2003) Final Sword
A space opera RPG, set in a future where a group of psychics (known
as "Psibers") sought a better life in space. They were captured to
serve as hosts for a dying alien race called the Cey. The Psibers
were able to thwart the Cey's plans and in the process take over
their planet and all of the Cey's technology, including giant
robots and ships with wormhole-like technology. Now they are
increasingly in contact with their ancestors, the humans, as well
as other species. The PCs are on the front line of these scenarios
as the "Psibertroopers". It uses the
D6 System originally
developed by West End Games, with the addition of the
"Chesspiece Goon System" which simplifies handling of minor NPCs
by eliminating die rolls.
Dead of Night
- 1st ed by Merwin Shanmugasundaram, Andrew Kenrick (2005) Steampower Publishing
- 2nd ed (2010)
A horror movie role-playing game published in a small, "pocket"
format for ease of pick-up games. It is based on classic horror
movies (vampires, zombies, werewolves, and the like), and nominally
set in the generic American town of Chaddlestone. It uses a very
simple system, with options for playing the victims or monsters, as
well as for distributed game-mastering. Resolution is by rolling 2d10
versus a target of 15 (for standard rolls) or 10 + opponent's stat
(for contests). Characters are defined by four stat pairs:
Identify/Obscure, Persuade/Dissuade, Pursue/Escape, and
Assault/Protect. There are no separate skills, but a stat may be
specialized in an openly-defined manner. Characters also have
Survival Points, which function both as damage and hero points.
Each failed combat roll costs one point. Survival Points can also be
spent for different effects: to reroll, gain initiative, flip a stat
pair, find a clue, or cancel another Survival Point expenditure.
Characters begin with around five, and more are earned for rolling
doubles (or rolling 13 for monsters), advancing the plot, cool
descriptions of your actions, resting for a full scene, and by acting
out horror movie cliches. Character creation is limited point-based.
Dead Reign: Zombie Role-Playing Game
- 1st ed by Josh Hilden, Joshua Sanford, Kevin Siembieda (2008) Palladium Books
A zombie horror role-playing game, using a variant of
the Palladium System.
The game includes six character classes (O.C.C.s), including the Reaper,
Shepherd of the Damned, Hound Master, Apocalyptic Soldier, Scrounger,
and Ordinary People. There are seven types of zombies plus the
Half-Living described as opponents.
Deathstalkers: The Fantasy Horror Role-Playing Game
- 1st ed by Mike Whitehead (2001) Cutter's Guild
- 2nd ed by Mike Whitehead, Joe Meyers (2003)
A fantasy horror RPG set on an original fantasy world, inhabited by
18 races including the typical dwarf, elf, and gnome plus others
including lizard-man, minotaur, half-dragons, half-dead, and half-cat.
Action resolution is percentile skills and stat + 1d20 for combat.
Character creation involves choosing a racial archetype and a character
class (out of 32), along with point-bought skills. The racial archetype
gives special abilities, languages, class restrictions, and the basic
number of d6's to roll for each attribute. The ten attributes are
Knowledge, Mental Tolerance, Leadership, Courage, Strength,
Endurance, Beauty, Agility, Speed, and Hit-Points. Advancement
Decartha Prime: Science Fantasy in a Shifting World
- 1st ed by (2000) Hubris
A storytelling game.
Deeds Not Words
- 1st ed by Scott Lynch (2002) Cryptosnark games
A superhero RPG using a variant of the D20 System from 3rd edition
- 1st ed by Paolo Fasce, Alessandro Gatti, Teo Mora, Paolo Parrucci (1996) Qualitygame
An Italian-language storytelling fantasy game, part of the
"I Giochi del 2000" collection. The title is latin and means
"About The Art Of Speaking". It can supposedly be played even
without a GM.
- 1st ed by William Levy (1988) Godiva Productions
A post-nuclear-apocalypse RPG where players play themselves as
visitors to a secret government research installation when World
War III breaks out. The players then place themselves in
suspended animation and wake up in some bizarre setting of the
GM's choice. (Rule system unknown)
Degenesis: Das Endzeit Rollenspiel
- 1st ed by Christian Günther, Tim Struck (2001) Degenesis
A German-language post-apocalyptic RPG, originally published as a
free RPG on the web. It is set in post-apocalyptic Germany, in
the devastated area where the rivers Rhine and Main meet. Several
clans are struggling for power over the region. The system uses
action resolution by rolling 1d20 against the sum of an attribute
and a skill. Characters are defined by their five attributes and
several skills. The damage system involves three hit locations and
a pool of life points.
- 1st ed by Phil Brucato (2003) Laughing Pan Productions
A modern fantasy about mortals in the modern world who interact with
the faerie domain. Action resolution uses stat + random modifier
vs difficulty -- using either cards or dice to allow for live-action
play. It includes a faerie magic system, and extensive rules for
social and spiritual conflict.
- 1st ed by William H. Keith, Jr. (1986) Task Force Games
A modern military/espionage RPG about elite anti-terrorist
units, including U.S. Delta Force, British SAS, etc. The system
includes lots of detailed weapon statistics.
It includes 3 hostage adventures.
Demon City Shinjuku RPG
- 1st ed by David L. Pulver (1999) Guardians of Order
A supernatural action/horror RPG based on the Japanese animated
movie, where in the near future the heart of Tokyo is transformed
by the tyrannical Levih Rah into a "Demon City". The game uses
the "Tri-Stat" system introduced in
Big Eyes, Small Mouth.
Demon Hunters Role Playing Game
- 1st ed by Jamie Chambers, Brian Clements, Jimmy McMichael (2008) Dead Gentlemen Productions
Margaret Weis Productions
A modern-day horror RPG based on the cult film of the same name.
The player characters are members of a holy organization of warriors
fighting to prevent Hell on Earth, known as the Brotherhood of the
Celestial Torch or simply "Demon Hunters." It uses a variant of
the "Cortex" system originally developed for the
Sovereign Stone RPG.
The game includes a copy of the 30 minute cult film on DVD.
Demons and Saints
- 1st ed by Michael Holder (2015) Darklore Publishing
A dark fantasy RPG set in the modern world where fallen angels battle to control prophecy.
It has its own system, where character creation uses random-roll and selecting from categories
to generate bloodline (race), morality, weapons, skills, spells, and equipment.
Action resolution uses attribute + skill + 1d20 vs. target modifier.
- 1st ed by Dan Hensel, Al Seeger, Dave Schmitz, Gino Holland (1997) Lasalion
A medieval fantasy RPG, set in the world of "Terrania" with 6
continents each with a tower at the center. It is inhabited
humans, elves, and dwarves as well as other races such as
dakhans. It uses a step-die system. Character creation has
classes (fighter/thief/mage/cleric/...) and skills, and a mix of
random-rolls and point-bought stats.
Demon: The Fallen
- 1st ed by Carl Bowen (2002) White Wolf
A modern-day horror RPG, where the PCs are demonic spirits who have
been incarnated in human bodies within the "World of Darkness" setting
Vampire: The Masquerade and other games. The demons are
partly sympathetic in that they fought against God to empower humanity.
Being trapped in the pit for thousands of years, they are now alien and
only understand the world through the human part that they inhabit.
It uses a version of the Storyteller dice pool system used by the
other World of Darkness games.
- 1st ed (1995) Ventrue Editora
A Portuguese-language espionage RPG published in Brazil, with a
complex rules system.
- 1st [Polish] ed by Michal Oracz (2001) Portal
- 1st [English] ed by Michal Oracz (2002) Hogshead Games
A modern-day horror RPG designed for play over mail. Originally
published in Polish, and translated into English. The players write
in-character letters to each other, describing their progressive
exploration of (or victimization by) eldritch nightmare forces. There
is no GM; it's up to the players to interlink their stories. It
also suggests the option of "field psychodrama" -- where the players
use elements from their real life in the stories.
The Deryni Adventure Game
- 1st ed by Aaron Rosenberg, Ann Dupuis, Jennifer Brinn (2005) Grey Ghost Press
A fantasy RPG based on the popular "Deryni" series of fantasy books
by Katherine Kurtz, about a race of humans in medieval times with the
gift of magic -- the Deryni. The system is a modified version of the
O Desafio dos Bandeirantes
- 1st ed by Carlos Eduardo Klimmick Pereira, Flávio Maurício de Andrade, Luiz Eduardo Ricon de Freitas (1992) GSA Editora
A Portuguese-language fantasy RPG published in Brazil by 'Editora
Art Bureau editora de arte LTDA' / GSA Editora. Roughly translated,
the title means "The Challenge of the Explorers". It is set in an
original fantasy world based in Brazilian history and folklore,
named 'Land of St. Cross' (one of the early names for Brazil
during the Colonial period). Character creation uses classes
such as fighters, wizards, and other common types. Characters
may include Portuguese bandeirantes, native scouts, miracle-working
Jesuits, native shamans, Yoruba medium-priests, and even
Hermetic European "warlocks". Combat is resolved using 2d10 +
weapon or dodge skill, while non-combat tasks are resolved using
1d100 roll under skill. (It uses d20, d10 and d6.) The game includes
a number of monsters including native beasts such as the anhangüera
(demon-possessed fire-breathing animals), kanaíma (cannibals
reincarnated as werejaguars) and jurupari (nightmare spirits
who strangle people in their sleep), as well as more prosaic fare --
vampires, werewolves, mermaids and even the Devil itself.
There are at least three sourcebooks:
"A Floresta do Medo/O Engenho" (two adventures);
"Os Quliombos da Lua" (setting expansion, detailing a fortress deep
in the wilderness built by rebel african slaves); and
"O Vale dos Acritós" (detailing the region of the
savage giant native Acritós and their culture).
Desolation: A Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Roleplaying Game
- 1st ed by Jamie Gooch, Stephen Herron, Matt Somers (2008) Greymalkin Designs LLC
A post-apocalyptic fantasy RPG, set on the high fantasy world of Scondera
18 months after a cataclysm nearly destroyed it. The Night of Fire killed
90% of the population of Scondera as fire rained down, the ground split,
the oceans rose, mythical beasts awoke, and magic lashed out. Whole
regions have been changed magically and geographically, locations have
been picked up and placed elsewhere, creatures have been twisted, and
the whole fabric of civilisation broken. The game uses a variant of
the "Ubiquity system" also used by
Hollow Earth Expedition.
- 1st ed by Dave Schacter (1991) Skycastle Games
A western genre RPG, using a skill-based percentile system.
Diana: Warrior Princess
- 1st ed by Marcus L. Rowland (2003) Heliograph, Inc.
A curious, and humorous, modern fantasy game. It is set in the present
as re-imagined thousands of years from now -- in a manner parallel to
how "Xena: Warrior Princess" treats ancient Greek myth and culture.
So it is a romanticized fantasy of our present, which conflates and
confuses all sorts of information about our present. Thus it centers
on the mighty heroine Diana (recently divorced from Bonnie Prince
Charlie) and her sidekick Fergie running about, thwarting the
machinations of the evil Queen Elizabeth, as well as those of the
dark god of war, Landmines.
Diaspora: hard science-fiction role-playing with fate
- 1st ed by B. Murray, C.W. Marshall, T. Dyke, B. Kerr (2009) VSCA Publishing
A hard science fiction RPG, in a loose setting where groups of star
systems are connected by wormholes called Slipstreams, which starships
can jump between through use of a Slipstream Drive. It uses a variant
of the FATE system (Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment) from
Spirit of the Century,
including simplified stunts as well as extended star system
Dice & Glory
- 1st ed by Robert A. Neri Jr (2007) Ranger Games
A generic rule system focused on fantasy. Action resolution uses
1d20 + skill versus difficulty. Character creation uses
random-roll of attributes, choice of class, and point-bought skills.
The generic classes are: Brick, Fighter, Adventurer, Rogue, Mage,
Psychic and Clergy.
- 1st ed by T.R.Williams, Joe Chan, Ryan Kelley, Sean Kelley, Toby Leonard, Gary McBride, Jason Middleton, Austin Mills, Patrick Quarles, Aaron Robb, Brian Spencer, Tico, Mike Williams (2002) Living Room Games
A cyberpunk game, intended as a setting and general cyberpunk
sourcebook for use with the
D20 Modern system.
It is set in a near future (circa 2017) where a series of natural and
man-made disasters between 2008 and 2012 killed off about 30% of the
world population in a period commonly known as "The Burn". Deaths include
disasters involving genetically modified crops as well as a new lethal
sexually transmitted disease dubbed "Black Molly". Genetic engineering
is now widely banned and replaced by cybernetics. The rules include
nine advanced classes as well as new rules for cyberware, netrunning,
and other advanced technology. The advanced classes are Blank
(i.e. anonymous but connected street-dweller), Cop, Fixer, Ganger,
Hacker, Icon (i.e. celebrity), Medico, Merc, and Spanner (general
technician, esp. electronics).
- 1st ed by Todd Downing (1999) Deep7
A very simple 1930's pulp action mini-RPG published in electronic PDF format.
It uses a version of the "1PG" system, which (as its name implies) fits
on a single page. Resolution is rolling 1d6 and getting under attribute
or skill, where 1 is always success and 6 is always failure.
Character creation includes rolling 1d3 to determine attributes (Moxie,
Glitz, Cunning, and Grey Matter), then spending 1d6 points your skills,
with no skill higher than 3. The basic game is 11 pages, and has a 15
page "Jungle Adventures" supplement.
- 1st ed by Denton R. Elliot (1985) Doc's Games
A fantasy-genre mini-RPG published in a 3''x5'' ziplock bag(!).
It has 2 attributes (Physical and Mental) which are randomly
determined, and 3 classes (Fighter, Wizard, Bard). All rolls are
on 2d6. Combat is by comparing Physical of attacker and defender
on a chart. Other rolls (Muscle or Idea rolls) are all the same
chance of success, but higher attribute lets you try more rolls
per day. There are no skills per se. cf. Steffan O'Sullivans
Dinky Dungeons page.
Dirty Secrets: a game about crime
- 1st ed by Seth Ben-Ezra (2007) Dark Omen Games
A game based on the film noir crime genre, with narrative control
mechanics where one participant plays the main character, and the
other players take turns as the primary game-master. When not being
primary GM, they act as advisors with veto power over the primary.
The conflict resolution system is a slightly modified version of the
Liar's Dice game, where everyone rolls a number of dice secretly and
take turns bidding higher numbers for a total. There is a "crime
grid" where suspects are included, and the guilty party is determined
semi-randomly among the suspects.
A Dirty World
- 1st ed by Greg Stolze (2008) Schroedinger's Cat Press
A film noir RPG, using a variant of the "One-Roll Engine" from
Characters are defined by pairs of opposed stats, where your rating
in one stat limits your rating in the other. Characters have three
pairs of attributes (called "Identities"), and each pair has two pairs
of skills (called "Qualities"). Patience/Cunning has Qualities
Generosity/Selfishness and Demonstration/Observation. Vigor/Grace has
Qualities Courage/Wrath and Endurance/Defiance. Understanding/Persuasion
has Qualities Purity/Corruption and Honesty/Deceit. ORE Noir does not
use hit locations like other ORE systems, but instead has a more general
damage that can be used for both physical and social conflicts.
Discordia!: A Little Game About a Lot of Chaos
- 1st ed by John Wick (2005) Wicked Dead Brewing Company
A modern-day conspiracy RPG, where players take the roles of
Discordian double agents infiltrating the world's greatest
conspiracies. It uses a dice pool system where you find "fives" in
the die roll. It also includes a system of "dogma" (the power your
Illuminati grant you) and "catma" (your degree of Discord) that
determines what magic powers your conspirator has. Characters have
freeform stats reminiscent of Robin Law's
Over the Edge.
Every time a character uses a "dogma" power, she runs the risk of
flipping to the dread Triple Agent status. The game includes a number
of scenario ideas, with a nod to Robin Laws' "Cut-Up" story mechanism
using randomly drawn words on slips of paper.
Les Divisions de l'Ombre
- 1st ed by Philippe Chouvel, Christophe Guy (1989) Flamberge
A French-language sci-fi RPG, set in a near future (2030's) where
freedom fighters struggles against fascist, alien-controlled
authorities. The boxed set includes a 84-page rulebook, 32-page
Atlas 2030, and 28-page GM booklet.
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, The Roleplaying Game
- 1st ed by David F. Chapman (2009) Cubicle 7 Entertainment Limited
A time-and-dimension travelling sci-fi RPG based on the TV series.
It uses a simple original system, the "Vortex System". Resolution is by
adding attribute + skill + 2d6 versus difficulty - possibly modified by spending
Story Points. The system emphasizes talking and strategy over pure violence.
Talking always happens first in a round before attacks, and a character
loses all Story Points if they kill. Combat damage subtracts directly
from attributes. Character creation is point-based, setting 6 attributes
(Awareness, Coordination, Ingenuity, Presence, Resolve, and Strength)
along with 12 skills and various traits (Good, Bad, and Special).
Players must spend from their Story Point total for certain traits
such as "alien" or "immortal." The core game is a boxed set including
two full-color bound manuals, character sheets for pre-made characters
as well as blanks, a counter sheet for Story Points, a set of 6 six-sided
dice, a booklet with two introductory adventures, and a number of gadget
Doctor Who RPG
- 1st ed by Michael Bledsoe, Wm John Wheeler, L. Ross Babcock, Guy W. McLimore (1985) FASA
A time-and-dimension travelling sci-fi RPG based on the TV
series. PC' are from the Gallifreyan Celestial Intervention
Agency, usually a Time Lord/Lady and some humans travelling
around in a TARDIS. The system is related to FASA's
Star Trek. Actions are resolved
using 2d6 on and "interaction matrix". Attributes and skills
both range from 1-7 (written as roman numerals), with
point-bought character generation.
Dog Eat Dog
- 1st ed by Liam Burke (2012) Liwanag Press
A partly GMless story game that revolves around colonialism and its
consequence. One player plays the Colonizers and has special control
over the narrative. The other players play Natives. Action within a
scene is resolved by die roll to determine the narrator, but the
Colonizer player can overrule this. Each Native player starts with
three tokens, and the Colonizer player has two tokens for each Native.
The Native culture is jointly created by the players, and there is a
growing list of Rules that the Natives are called on to follow. For
each Rule that a Native followed, the Colonizer must pay one token
to that Native; for each rule that a Native broke, they must pay
one token to the Colonizers. If a Native loses all tokens, they run
amok and die in the following scene, and the Colonizer loses three tokens.
The game ends when either the Colonizer, or all Natives, have lost all
their tokens, followed by end game narration.
Dogs in the Vineyard
- 1st ed by Vincent Baker (2004) Lumpley Games
A western-genre game where the PCs are religious guardians (God's
Watchdogs) in the community of the Faithful, which is based on 19th
century Utah. Demons roam about the world, and can attempt to move
in on towns which have given way to sin. Characters have four
main attributes, which are each pools of two or more d6. They
also have traits, relationships, and equipment which are rated as
pools of other dice (i.e. d4, d6, d8, d10). Resolution is by
conflict resolution: establish "What's at Stake" and then roll the
dice for all stats related to that. The alternate sides then go
through a process of a "Raise" using two of the dice, which must
then be countered by the opposing side. You can alternately "Escalate"
by switching to a different form of combat, such as going from social
to physical. This raises the amount of "fallout" which can occur
from the conflict.
Dog Town: The Ultimate Crime Experience
- 1st ed by Jonathan Ridd (2004) Cold Blooded Games
A modern crime RPG about goodfellas, wise guys, and other criminals
from the 1970s era of mob rule in New York City. Specifically, it
suggests that each PC be a crook who just got out of jail and who,
while behind bars, was given the opportunity to make some fantastic
business deal that requires one hundred grand within 90 days.
It uses a skill-based system (the "Split System"), which resolves
actions based on rolling over a target number on 1d20 determined
from a universal chart of skill vs difficulty. Character creation
is point-based, with 10 attributes, ads/disads ("Talents/Flaws"),
and 33 skills. The attributes are rated from -2 to 5 in value:
Bulk, Power, Toughness, Reflexes, Sense, Brains, Control, Style,
Experience, and Luck.
- 1st ed by Blaine Pardoe (1989) StarChilde
An alien invasion RPG set in an alternate 1992 where the evil
Kalotians and their allied aliens are invading Earth. It uses a
percentile system (roll under attribute plus skill). Character
creation is class-based, with random-roll attributes and
Dominion Tank Police RPG
- 1st ed by David L. Pulver (1999) Guardians of Order
A futuristic RPG set in the world of the mange/anime series
"Dominion Tank Police". The system ("Tri-Stat") is very simple,
with three attributes (Body/Mind/Soul) and skills. Roll 2d6
under your stat, modified by skill. The rulebook also is a
"resource book" on facts, trivia, and background about the
- 1st ed by Clinton R. Nixon, Zak Arntson (2002) Anvilwerks
A fantasy-genre RPG with an emphasis on narrative control for the
player. It uses a dice-pool system, rolling a number of d20s equal
to attribute + skill and taking the highest. The GM rolls a number
of d20s based on difficulty and the results are compared. Each
success lets the player freely declare one statement about the
action. For example, a successful search for secret doors roll
allows the player to define that one is there to be found.
Don't Look Back: Terror is Never Far Behind
- 1st ed by Chuck McGrew, Richard Van Ingram (1995) Mind Ventures
- 2nd ed (1997)
A modern-day horror role-playing game. It uses an unusual dice
pool system where you roll a number of d6 and keep the 3 highest
or lowest depending on your Success Rating (found by comparing
ability to difficulty).
Don't Rest Your Head
- 1st ed by Fred Hicks (2006) Evil Hat Productions
A modern-day horror role-playing game where the player characters are all insomniac protagonists with superpowers, fighting -- and using -- exhaustion and madness to stay alive and awake. It is set in a dark alternate reality called the Mad City. It uses an abstract dice pool system with stats for Discipline, Exhaustion, and Madness.
Don't Walk In Winter Wood
- 1st ed by Clint Krause (2006) Clint Krause Games
A short folkloric horror RPG set in an unnamed 18th-century village,
where something threatening is in the nearby woods that the PCs must
deal with. There is no character sheet, since characters have only
one stat -- the number of Cold Points they have accumulated, representing
emotional, psychological, or physical damage. The GM may ask yes or
no questions, and if the player may answer yes only if they roll over
their current number of Cold Points on 1d6.
Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple
- 1st ed by Daniel Solis (2011) Evil Hat Productions
Smart Play Games
A cooperative GMless storytelling game where the player characters are
teenaged emissaries and troubleshooters (pilgrims) for a vast temple
in a realm of endless air dotted by small floating worlds. Each
session is spurred by a letter to the pilgrims, which is written
in-character but contains a number of "goal words" (usually around 20).
The players take turns as storyteller. The current storyteller draws
from a bag of black and white stones, and the combination drawn dictates
limits on what the storyteller can narrate. The storyteller writes down
one sentence, possibly helping the letter's author and crossing off one
of the goal words - unless the pilgrim is "in trouble".
Doxy: A Roleplaying Game of Sex & Skullduggery
- 1st ed by Ian Warner (2011) Postmortem Studios
A roleplaying game set in lower class Georgian London, where the
player characters are hardened lower-class whores. It uses a variant
of the "Beer and Crisps" mechanics from the
Urban Faerie and
The attributes for this game are Bitching, Bonking, Charming,
Cheating, Daring, and Fighting.
- 1st ed by Martin Klima (1990) Altar
A Czech-language generic fantasy roleplaying game, whose title
translates as "Dragon Den". It is clearly inspired by
This was a variant of
Dungeons & Dragons, but also contains many original
ideas. Combat is resolved using a roll of Strength + 1d6, while
other situations are resolved using stat + 1d10. There are six
attributes and six classes. Upon reaching sixth level each class
must choose one of two specializations.
- 1st ed by Chris Pramas (2009) Green Ronin
A dark fantasy game, based on the computer and console game of the same name.
The setting is Ferelden - a fantasy world populated by humans, elves, dwarves,
and dragons. However, society is quite bleak - with dwarves withdrawn and elves
downtrodden and abused. The primary monsters are a related group - called darkspawn,
that rise up out of the ground to invade whole nations. The tabletop game
uses a system called the "Adventure Game Engine" or "AGE". Action resolution
is stat + 3d6, where doubles in the roll allow a number of stunts equal to the
result on a single special die in the set (the Dragon Die). Character creation
is random-roll attributes and option picks based on class.
DragonArms: Bahamut Howling
- 1st ed (1999) F.E.A.R.
A Japanese-language science fantasy RPG, set on a fantasy world shattered
by a monster invasion. A dragon-like ancient craft (Bahamut) is
discovered and used as a mobile battle platform. The PCs are young
mecha pilots in training, with battle interrupting their school
Dragonball + Dragonball Z: il gioco di ruolo
- 1st ed by Andrea Angiolino, Paolo Parrucci (1999) Nexus Editrice
An Italian-language martial-arts RPG, based on the Japanese
manga/anime series of the same name. This is unrelated to the
English game of the same name published by R Talsorian.
It has two supplement that can be played as separate
boardgames: "Dragonball - Alla ricerca delle Sette Sfere"
and "Dragonball Z - Il Torneo".
Dragonball Z RPG
- 1st ed by Mike Pondsmith (1998) R Talsorian
An over-the-top martial arts RPG based on the Japanese animated
series. It uses the Instant Fuzion system,
with the addition of a "Power" stat and no upper limits.
- 1st ed (1992) Heartbreaker Games
An introductory role-playing/board game, similar in format
to Milton Bradley's better-known HeroQuest game. It features
simple rules for role-playing, some adventures, a set of
interchangeable room and corridor tiles, dice, plastic miniatures
and a few other goodies.
Dragonlance: The Fifth Age
- 1st ed by William W. Connors (1998) TSR
An original fantasy game set in the Dragonlance fantasy world
(fiction spin-off from D&D). The system ("SAGA system") is
story-oriented, usng a special 82-card tarot-like deck instead of
dice. Similar to Castle
Falkenstein, actions are resolved by players by adding
attribute plus the value a card played from their hand.
- 1st ed by Eric Goldberg, David James Ritchie, Edward J. Woods (1980) SPI
- 2nd ed by Gerard Klug (1981)
- 3rd ed (1989) TSR
A fantasy-genre RPG focusing on hex-map-based combat. For its
time, this featured a number of new system features in skills and
action resolution. cf. John Kahane's
- 1st ed (1984) Adventures for Christ
An evangelical Christian RPG which is aimed at getting players in
to learn "Biblical priciples". Spells are cast by the player
reciting "WordRunes" which are passages from the Bible. cf. the
- 1st ed (1985) Standard Games
Fantasy miniatures combat system and RPG, published as a
boxed set including stand-up figures, dice, map, an introductory
adventure ("A Matter of Honour"), and a cassette tape with
instructions. It uses an introductory level system which
emphasizes combat with various monsters. Hit points are shown
as marked-off circles on a body diagram sheet. It has a single
supplement, a boxed set entitled "The Zhevezh Gauntlet".
Dragons at Dawn: The First Fantasy Game System
- 1st ed by D.H. Boggs (2010) Southerwood Publishing
A fantasy RPG based on reconstruction of unpublished methods of
play developed by Dave Arneson in the period 1970-1973.
It has a basic game where characters are either Warriors or Wizards,
and an enhanced game that adds Elf, Mage, Thief, Assassin, Merchant
and Sage. While it is a predecessor to
Dungeons & Dragons,
the rules are often quite different.
Dragons of Underearth
- 1st ed by Keith Gross (1983) Metagaming
This is a mini-boardgame/RPG using a variant of the rules system from
The Fantasy Trip,
produced after TFT author Steve Jackson left for his own projects.
All actions are considered to have happened simultaneously, so
DX is not as important in getting a chance to do damage.
- 1st ed by Susan Van Camp, Mark Harmon (1995) Black Dragon Press
A fantasy-genre RPG, where players play shape-shifters such as
Human/Dragon, and other traditional fantasy creatures. The
system is card-based. Character creation is point-bought:
choosing an illustrated "character card", and then spending
remaining points on other cards for background, flaws (which give
back points), and special abilities and/or magic. cf. the
- 1st ed by Dave Morris, Oliver Johnson (1982) Corgi Books
- 2nd ed (2008) Magnum Opus Press
A fantasy-genre RPG which came in a series of 6 paperback books.
(1: "Dragon Warriors", 2: "The Way of Wizardry", 3: "The Elven
Crystals", 4: "Out of the Shadows", 5: "The Power of Darkness",
6: "The Lands of Legend"). cf. Cynewulf's
Dragon Warriors page.
Drakar Och Demoner
- 1st ed (1982) Aventyrspel
- 2nd ed (1984)
- Expert ed (1985)
- 4th aka "'91" ed (1991)
- 5th aka "Chronopia" ed (1994)
- 6th ed (2000) Riotminds
A popular Swedish-language medieval fantasy RPG, originally a
generic system for a variety of fantasy worlds. The first edition
is a direct translation of Steve Perrin's "Magic World" from the
Worlds of Wonder game,
but subsequent editions developed away from that. The "Expert"
expansion in 1985 introduces many changes. It converts from d100
to d20 for all skill rolls, adds a more point-based (but still
partly random) character creation, and adds new occupations,
skills, and magic. The 4th edition folds in the "Expert" changes
into the main rules. The 5th edition keeps the same rules but
introduces the setting of Chronopia, by Bill King, a Tolkien-esque
fantasy world with a city ruled by time-travelling mages. The
6th edition is a total remake of the rules system (including new
concepts like levels), and includes a new world taking after
Scandanavian myth integrated into the rulebook, featuring and
inspired by the artwork of
- 1st ed by Matthijs Holter (2004) Spartacus Forlag
A Norwegian-language RPG based on Norwegian folklore and fairy-tales,
set in a fantasy version of Norway in the year 1801 -- where the
nation is under Danish rule without sovereign or flag. The setting
includes peasant life, hard times, history and national romanticism
along with a variety of supernatural creatures such as
nøkken, huldra, vetter, trolls, and nisser.
The system is a modified version of the
system. Character generation is assigning ten freeform traits
(2 great, 3 good, and 5 fair). There is a conflict rules but only
a few suggestions for how to handle combat. The single volume rules
are divided into the Player's Book, Gamemaster's Book, and the Book
- 1st ed by Epidiah Ravachol, woodelf (2005) The Impossible Dream
A horror RPG which uses a diceless, numberless resolution mechanic centered
on a tower of blocks such as the game, Jenga. If you can pull a block
from the tower without it falling, the actions succeeds. If you choose
not to pull, the action fails. If the tower collapses, your character
is removed from the story (i.e. dies, goes insane, etc.). Character
creation is by answering a series of questions about the character,
with no numeric stats.
dread: The First Book of Pandemonium
- 1st ed by Rafael Chandler (2002) Malignant Games
- Unrated ed by Rafael Chandler (2007) Neoplastic Press
A modern-day demon-fighting RPG. The PCs are a small team ("Cabal")
of people who were exposed to demons and then recruited and trained
in magic to fight them. It uses a simple dramatic system based on a
d12 dice pool. Action resolution is roll (attribute + skill) d12's,
where ties add +1 to the total, and try to get over the target number
(2-14). Character creation is limited point-based, with 9 points to
divide among the three attributes of Body, Mind, and Spirit. You then
get skill points equal to 2x Mind.
Dread House: A game for kids and brave adults
- 1st ed by Emily Care Boss, Epidiah Ravachol (2010) Dig a Thousand Holes Publishing
A horror-themed role-playing board game intended for for "spooky children
and brave adults." It uses custom cards and a Jenga tower for resolution.
The player characters are teenagers who have dared each other to spend
the night in Dread House. Character creation is by picking one of five
pre-generated characters: Nerd, Bully, Athlete, Artist, Scaredy-Cat,
or Gossip. Players then take turns exploring rooms in the haunted house,
as mapped out on the game board. When they enter a new room, the next
player draws a card from the custom Spooky Deck and creatively narrates
what is there based on the brief card text. The narrator may get a
Spooky token if the description is very creepy. To successfully
Brave It Out in that room, the player must make a pull from the
Jenga tower - or they may choose from other options.
- 1st ed by Ashok Desai (2006) Sane Studios
A surreal mini-RPG set in the land of dreams, inhabited by various
creatures including the bird-like Anothen who create blissful dreams,
the shapeless black Katothen who create nightmares, or the watery
blob-like Metaksy Dyo who mediate between them. The player characters
are the dream-selfs of people in this realm, who may be part of the
DreamCatcher society that protect the sleeping minds of humanity, or
may be Dream Thiefs who steal ingenuity out of people's heads.
It uses a simple dice pool system where each character has three
rated stats: Mojo, Dream, and Will. In resolution, the player rolls
a number of d6s equal to stat, where every die equal to or higher than
the difficulty (2-6) is a success. Dangerous tasks also have a threat
level (1-3), and any dice equal to or less than this are lost for
the remainder of the session.
The Dreaming Crucible: A Storytelling Game
- 1st ed by Joel P. Shempert (2010) Story by the Throat! Press
A fantasy genre storytelling game for three players about Faerie journeys,
designed to play out in an hour and a half. One player character is
a troubled child or adolescent (the Hero/Heroine) who goes to a magical
realm to face fear and pain. The other two players act out the forces
of the Light Faerie (ally) and Dark Faerie (opposition). Character
creation is by defining freeform Elements to be written on cards:
a Gift and Flaw for the Hero/Heroine, Allies for the Light Faerie,
and a Nemesis and Powers for the Dark Faerie. Resolution is by drawing
stones out of a bag when an obstacle is reached, each player putting in
stones from a pool on each Element. The Hero/Heroine and Light Faerie
put in white stones, while the Dark Faerie puts in black stones.
The owner of the winning stone gets the option to place it on the
Element their opponent just used, gaining some ownership of the
opponent's Element. An element that uses all its stones is permanently
transformed, and once all stones of either color are used, the game
- 1st ed by Mike Pondsmith (1992) R Talsorian
An RPG based on the sci-fi novels by Larry Niven, where the
characters play in a futuristic big-budget, live-action
role-playing games. The book is geared for beginners, with
board-game-like introductory scenarios and pre-made character
cards, spell cards, etc. The system is quite simple, a variant
of "Interlock", using skill+1d6 vs difficulty. Character
creation is by choosing a class (which gives a package of basic
skills), then adding points for advantages and skill
modifications. The base system is for unrealistic cross-genre
in-Park "game-play"... where medieval knights fight gun-toting
cyberpunks on semi-even footing.
Dreamwalker: Roleplaying in the Land of Dreams
- 1st ed by Peter C. Spahn, Michael Patton, David Griffin (2002) self-published
A modern magic RPG where you you play a psychic in the employ of a
government project (Project Dreamwalker), who enters the dreams of
others to rid troubled minds of the Taeniid infestation. It uses
a percentile skill-based system, which is adaptable as guidelines
for dream-based adventures in any system.
The Dresden Files Roleplaying Game
- 1st ed by Leonard Balsera, Chad Underkoffler, Ryan Macklin, Jim Butcher, Genevieve Cogman, Rob Donoghue, Fred Hicks, Kenneth Hite, Clark Valentine (2010) Evil Hat Productions
An urban fantasy RPG based on the novel series of the same name by
Jim Butcher. It uses a variant of the FATE system from
Spirit of the Century,
along with an extensive system of magic and supernatural powers.
Characters begin with different number of Fate points at the start of
each based on a base number for the campaign (Base Refresh Rate)
minus the number of points of powers they have. In addition, it adds
armor and weapon strength that modify the stress inflicted with
a successful hit.
The Drifter's Escape
- 1st ed by Ben Lehman (2009) Tao Games
A short narrative RPG for 3-7 people about a lone drifter (i.e. homeless
vagabond) in the U.S., designed to be played in 1-3 hours. One player
role-plays the Drifter, while the other players represent The Devil
and The Man - abstract forces that are trying to own his life and soul.
The book includes with a collection of seven short stories about
the American drifter, by Jake Lehman.
Droga ku Chwale
- 1st ed by Andrzej Stoj (2002) Portal
A Polish-language RPG, based on Hong Kong kung-fu movies
and video games. The title translates as "The Road to Glory".
The PC's are masters of martial arts, fighting series of duels
in fantasy city of Tsiengtao. The rules are simple, based on
rolling under attribute + skill. The game has extended
list of combat maneuvers and different styles of fighting.
- 1st ed by Neil Patrick Moore, Derek Stanovsky (1983) Integral Games
A sci-fi mini-RPG (digest-sized) about robots trying to survive
after humanity destroyed their world. Character creation is by
assembling your droid piece by piece (legs/wheels/treads,
powerplant, sensors, etc.). It includes a sample scenario of
exploring an abandoned military complex.
Drowning & Falling
- 1st ed by Jason Morningstar (2006) Bully Pulpit Games
A parody of other RPGs, in particular detailed rules for drowning,
falling, and other such hazards. It includes fifteen attributes,
five character classes (Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, Elf, and Dwarfling),
two alignments (Good and Evil), and over twenty three spells and prayers.
- 1st ed by Spartaco Albertarelli (1993) Editrice Giochi
An Italian-language fantasy RPG, set in a mythic land patterned
after the Great Britain of Celtic mythology. The last Druid
recruits the PCs in his struggle against the spirits of the
Derwydd -- evil druids who had caused the Gods to send a
diluvium. Every PC had some sort of magic/psionic power, such as
healing, illusion, ESP, musical powers, perception, elemental
summoning, runes, or hypnosis. The system is skill-based,
using d100+skill vs. difficulty. Combat and magic are
variations to this standard method. Attributes are generated from
a point pool; common fantasy races (elves, dwarves, halflings)
are in use, as well as vocations that describe the main
professions (granting special advantages). One geographical
expansion was printed.
- 1st ed by Richard Tucholka (1991) Tri-Tac Games
A humorous combat RPG (64 page) about re-taking your planet from
alien Duck invaders from another dimension. "Now they have the planet
and you have the firepower and the will to take back your homes."
- 1st ed by Bruce Harlick, Ray Greer, Paul Arden Lidberg (1992) Crunchy Frog
A universal RPG system, although geared mainly for the fantasy genre.
It uses a simple skill-based system with 3 attributes (Body, Agility,
Mind). Character creation is by open point-build, spending 35 points
on attributes and skills. Action resolution is by rolling under skill
on 1d10, with special cases for combat. It also uses d5's (1d10/2 or
1d6 reroll 6) for damage, initiative, and some other cases. The basic
game is 36 pages and includes a brief magic system, a 3-page sample
fantasy world, and a 5-page solor adventure. It has a genre book
("Wooden Suits and Iron Men", by Sam Witt, 1994), an advanced rules
supplement ("Mega-DUEL"), and a fantasy adventure ("Secret Liaison").
Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium
- 1st ed by Owen M. Seyler, Christian Moore, Matthew Colville (2000) Last Unicorn Games
A spacefaring science-fiction RPG based on the novels by Frank Herbert.
It uses a variant of the "Icon" system developed for the
Star Trek: The
Next Generation RPG. This was only published in a
"Limited Edition" before the publishing company disappeared.
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG
- 1st ed by Joseph Goodman (2012) Goodman Games
A fantasy RPG based in part on a mix of editions of the
It uses some unified mechanics similar to later editions, but also
has many old school features such as classes for Elf, Dwarf, and
Halfling. There are also many differences, including magic that
is not limited in spells per day, but every spell must roll a check
against its result table. Character creation is by a "funnel" where
each player creates at least three 0th level characters, and continue
play with the ones that survive. Creation is very simple, rolling
straight 3d6 in order for the attributes: Strength, Agility, Stamina,
Personality, Intelligence and Luck. A character class is chosen only
for characters who survive to 1st level.
Dungeons and Dragons
- 1st ed by Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson (1973) TSR
- Basic Set 1st ed ed by J. Eric Holmes (1977)
- Basic Set 2nd ed by Tom Moldvay (1980)
- Expert Set 1st ed by David Cook (1980)
- Basic Set 3rd ed by Frank Mentzer (1983)
- Expert Set 2nd ed by Frank Mentzer (1983)
- Companion Set ed by Frank Mentzer (1984)
- Master Set ed by Gary Gygax, Frank Mentzer (1985)
- Immortals Set ed by Frank Mentzer (1986)
- Rules Cyclopedia ed by Aaron Allston (1991)
- 3rd ed by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (2000) Wizards of the Coast
- Adventure Game ed by Bill Slavicsek (2000)
- Version 3.5 ed (2003)
- Basic Game ed by Jonathan Tweet (2004)
- 4th ed by Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (2008)
- 5th ed by Jeremy Crawford, Michael Mearls (2014)
The original fantasy role-playing game, a swords-and-sorcery
genre game vaguely based on Tolkien, Howard, and Lieber. The
first edition in 1973 was an add-on to Guidon Games'
Chainmail miniatures rules.
It was a boxed set with three booklets ("Men & Magic",
"Monsters & Treasure", and "The Underworld and Wilderness Adventures").
This used the term "hobbits" which was changed to "halflings"
in the reprint after a clash with the Tolkien estate.
was released, the "Basic Set" was re-introduced as an easier
first introduction to AD&D, covering only levels 1-3. Races
were "simplified" to each be their own class (i.e. so elves are
"elf" class instead of being forced to be mixed Fighting Man /
Magic-user). In 1980 this was then expanded into a separate line
of game sets: Basic / Expert / Companion / Master / Immortal.
The first two sets went through several editions, and then the
first 4 sets were later collected and edited into the "Rules
Cyclopedia". This line was dropped in the mid-90's.
The "3rd edition" is really a new edition of
with a wholly redesigned system, known as the "D20 System". The
"Adventure Game" is a standalone boardgame with 8 pregenerated
characters along with 3 premade adventures and random dungeon
generators, but with no character generation rules.
- 1st ed by Sage LaTorra, Adam Koebel (2012) Sage Kobold Productions
A fantasy RPG in the milieu of Dungeons & Dragons,
but using rules adapted from
Character creation is by picking a playbook, assigning the six
attribute scores, choosing moves, and making connections with the
other player characters. Only players roll for resolution, rolling
2d6 + attribute modifier after the GM decides that a Move has been
activated. There are no difficulty modifiers. The rules emphasize
drawing on the fiction, including a series of diceless Moves for the
GM to draw on.
Dust Devils: The Truly Gritty Old West Role-Playing Game
- 1st ed by Matt Snyder (2002) Chimera Creative
A wild west RPG. It uses an unusual playing card system. The
character draws a number of cards based on the sum of two
attributes. Highest poker hands across opposed characters
determines who wins a conflict, but highest single card
determines who narrates the outcome. Players also have
chips which may be spent to draw extra cards or other effects.
Each character has a Devil representing his "worser nature" which
can modify actions.
Duty & Honour
- 1st ed by Neil Gow (2008) Omnihedron Games
A role-playing game of military action in the Napaleonic era - where the
PCs are members of the British army under the Duke of Wellington. The
resolution system is based on playing cards, where each player has their
own deck of cards. The players draws a pool of cards based on stat to
resolve an entire combat or other conflict, where each card that beats a
randomly-drawn "Card of Fate" is one success. Play is structured around
mechanically-defined missions. Character creation uses a lifepath system.
The Dying Earth RPG
- 1st ed by Robin D. Laws, John R. Snead, Peter Freeman (2001) Pelgrane Press
A fantasy RPG set in the world of the novels by Jack Vance -- an
ancient world populated by a desperately extravagant people, rich
with magic. It uses a simple system where a single d6 roll
determines the results (1=worst to 6=best), where higher ability
gives you a number of rerolls (your "ability pool") which
refreshes every 2 to 8 hours. Character creation is open
point-based, where you can gain bonus points by accepting random
choices. It has an in-depth magic system based closely on the
Dystopia: America 2155 A.D.
- 1st ed by Gavin Hadaller (2001) Politically Incorrect Games
A science-fiction game set in 2155 A.D. America, where you are part
of the oppressed masses fighting against the totalitarian control of
the megacorporations. The system is skill-based, based on rolling under
your stat or skill on 1d10 (where 10 is a botch and 1 is a critical
success). Character creation uses random-roll attributes and
point-bought skills (with modifiers for Social Class and Lifestyle).
- 1st ed by Jacek Komuda, Maciej Jurewicz, Marcin Barylka (1997) Wydawnictwo MAG
- 2nd ed by Jacek Komuda, Michal Mochocki, Artur Machlowski (2005) Wydawnictwo MAG
A Polish-language historical RPG set in 17th century Poland. The
player characters are all noblemen - usually Polish but possibly foreign -
who fight various Polish enemies of this period. There were two supplements
published: W stepie szerokim (In the wide steppe) and Ogniem i mieczem
(With fire and sword). It has complicated rules for sabre-fighting and
duels, using szablas (a Polish type of a sabre) or rapiers (used mainly
by foreigners). The rules for other activities are generally simple.
The second edition uses a simple mechanic comparing a 1d20 roll plus
attribute, skill, and modifiers versus a difficulty number. Character
creation is point-based, with slow advancement and little increase in
hit points for a realistic feal.
John H. Kim
Last modified: Mon Jul 2 09:15:53 2018